In 2022, confectionery category dollar sales grew 11.1% over 2021, and 22.1% over 2019 as consumers view chocolate and candy as a fun part of life (81%) and as an affordable treat (74%), according to the fourth annual State of Treating report published by the National Confectioners Association. The total confectionery category reached $42.6 billion in sales, driven by inflation that reached a 40-year high in 2022. Growth projections take the total category to $54.3 billion in 2027.  

The 2023 State of Treating report released today at NCA’s annual State of the Industry Conference is the definitive source for confectionery category performance data and offers a deep understanding of ever-evolving consumer attitudes and behaviors. 

"With high marks for favorability and permissibility, along with the majority of consumers agreeing that confectionery is an affordable treat, chocolate and candy sales grew despite economic pressures,” John Downs, NCA president and CEO, said. “Consumers continue to treat with chocolate and candy to enhance their emotional well-being, celebrate holidays and enjoy everyday moments."

Key findings from the report include:

  1. 79% of consumers agree that physical health and emotional well-being are interconnected, and 86% agree that it is fine to occasionally treat yourself with chocolate and candy.
  2. 78% believe confectionery sharing and gifting are great traditions.
  3. Consumers buy confectionery in three to four different retail channels, led by supercenters and supermarkets.
  4. 61% of shoppers look for confectionery products they have never purchased before; innovation is important. 
  5. 59% of candy consumers have searched Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for confectionery-related content.
  6. Transparency is the currency of trust; 43% of consumers prefer to learn about a brand’s ESG efforts from the package label.

The 2023 State of Treating report offers insights that fuse proprietary NCA consumer survey findings with syndicated category and channel performance data. This collection of insights is intended to provide a deeper understanding of consumer wants and needs, corresponding shifts in the retail landscape and opportunities for the future to support continued category growth. 

The 2023 State of Treating report is made possible by Blommer Chocolate Company. Data is provided by IRI Worldwide and Euromonitor. 

Check out the Bite-Sized Taste of the 2023 State of Treating report.